Thoughts Brought On by An Armidillo
Rev. Jeff Wood, First Presbyterian Church of Sebastian
I spotted a couple of armadillos beside the road one evening recently. I remembered, as I do for some reason almost every time I see one, that they can carry the bacteria that causes Hansen’s Disease, more commonly known as leprosy.
One of the great men of the 20th century who probably did more in that century for lepers than anyone in all the previous centuries combined was Dr. Paul Brand. He grew up a missionary kid in India. He himself became a medical missionary and specialized in hands. He was knighted by the Queen for his work. He work was very much with India’s lepers.
Leprosy deadens the nerves and because of deadened nerves, that which tell you to move your hand from a hot stove is not there. Consequently, injury, infection, and a bunch of terrible stuff to follow.
Dr. Brand did this work with lepers when it was not clear where it came from or how to arrest it. That means he did it at personal risk. He came home one night to find that his wife had let a leper fall asleep on their porch. He looked at her with concerned eyes and said, “Our children?” What he meant was, you’ve let someone onto the porch and this could mean infection for our children. His wife replied that the man had walked for weeks to get here just to see Dr. Brand, that he was desperate, that he had no place to go, … what else could she do? That interchange showed the risk people felt.
It was this dread that existed in the New Testament world. All I want to say now is that Jesus healed lepers. And that leprosy is a metaphor for sin with our soul. Then I’ll say again, Jesus heals lepers.
Rev. Jeff Wood, First Presbyterian Church, 1405 Louisiana Ave. Sebastian, FL 32958